Monday, January 31, 2011

Celebrations: Epiphany on Kauai

All Saints Episcopal Church, Kapa'a, Kauai
Sundays on vacation are always fun because we never know what church we will end-up worshipping in. Sometimes we find a church with a familiar name like we did while visiting Maui… There we shared in Sunday worship a St. John’s Episcopal Church, connecting us that day with The Free Church of St. John in Philadelphia, PA.

This particular Sunday we chose All Saint’s Episcopal Church, in Kapa’a, because the time of the service happened to work well with our plans for the day - I know not an very “spiritual” way to choose a church or service. But, I’ve often found that God uses those “random” moments in life to speak to us, we only have to be quiet enough and willing to listen.

Inside All Saints
Pretty much from the moment we arrived at All Saints that Sunday we knew this was where we were suppose to worship that day. From the greeters at the door, to the sermon, to coffee time afterwards it felt like home, even All Saints Hawaiian motto is “Ka Ohan ‘o Ke Akua”  (“The Family of God”) which describes the purpose of the parish… to share with each other and all people, the “Good News” of Jesus, and to live the Good News as a Christian community and family; speaks of being a family and living in community.

Fr. Ben Nelson gave the sermon that morning. A sermon different than the one he had originally planned on. He ended up changing his sermon in response to the shooting at the shopping center in Arizona. His sermon reminded us via the Baptismal Covenant that when baptized into the family of faith we are called to interact with the world (and each other) in a whole new way. And he challenged all of us to stop playing the blame game (which does nothing to help an already broken and hurting world) but to start stepping up to the plate and living as children of God, to be really living the Good News in our communities... to live in a whole new way... a way that offers love, grace, healing and community to those who are hurting, lost and broken. I wish his sermon were saved in a format that I could go back to, and listen or read again, because it continues to resonate with me…

God, how do I live as your child, your disciple in this world?

How do I respond to all that is going on around me – from inside my home to around the world in a way that pleases Him?

As a work-in-process, one who is herself hurt, lost and broken live in such a way that reflects love, grace, healing and community?

All Saints Episcopal Church, Kapa'a, Kauai
After the service we had some time for coffee and conversation. The parishioners at All Saints were so welcoming and friendly and easy to talk with. It was also fun connecting with other visitors to All Saints that morning. During the coffee time we were also able  to browse through the church’s gift shop… Hale Lani Christian Store located in the All Saints gym. For a small shop they have a wonderful selection of books, music and gift items. I bought several bookmarks made from Koa wood with a scripture verse engraved in Hawaiian and English. The craft person who makes these beautiful bookmarks uses the Koa scraps left over from the ukuleles that her father makes.

A quick history of All Saints’ Church; it was founded as a mission of the Episcopal Church in 1924, at Kealia, four miles north of Kapa’a, by the Ven. Henry A. Willey. In 1962, the mission achieved parish status under the leadership of Ven. Charles T. Crane.

A little about the town of Kapaʻa. Kapa’a literally means "the solid" in Hawaiian. The famous "Sleeping Giant" or Nounou Mountain overlooks the town. Agriculture was a big industry throughout most of the 19th and 20th centuries. Sugar cane was grown along with the largest pineapple fields on Kauai.

Link to All Saints Episcopal Church, Kapa'a, Kauai 

Email for Hale Lani Christian Store 

Link to St. John's Episcopal Church, Kula, Maui

St. John's Episcopal Church, Kula, Maui

The inside of St. John's, Kula, Maui

A view from St. John's pulpit
The Free Church of St. John, Phila., PA

The Free Church of St. John, Phila., PA

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